Effort to Close Venezuela's Border Turns Deadly

Venezuelan soldiers fired on civilians trying to keep border section open
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2019 9:00 AM CST
Brazilian demonstrators gather outside the Venezuelan consulate in support of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019.   (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

(Newser) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on state TV Thursday night that he was closing the border with Brazil "completely and absolutely." The Washington Post reports a woman was killed Friday morning during an effort to keep a part of it open to allow humanitarian aid through on Saturday. A group tried to block a military convoy that had arrived at a checkpoint set up by indigenous activists by standing in front of the vehicles.

Gran Sabana Mayor Emilio Gonzalez tells the AP the Venezuela National Guard and army fired rubber bullets and tear gas at them, killing 42-year-old Zorayda Rodriguez and injuring 12 more. A witness tells the Post locals kidnapped three soldiers in the aftermath. The Post calls it the "first fatality of a massive opposition operation meant to deliver international relief into this devastated South American country." (Read more Venezuela stories.)

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